


Brownian Motion, Diffusion and Beyond (SYBM) des FV DY und des AKB
In one of his epochal 1905 works, Einstein showed how the postulates of
thermodynamics and kinetic theory of heat lead to the conclusion that
small but macroscopic particles suspended in a fluid must perform an
unceasing motion. He obtained the laws governing this motion which was
identified as Brownian motion. Einstein's approach contained in a nutshell
some of the modern approaches to stochastic processes, and encouraged
other scientists such as Smoluchowski, Langevin and Planck who had their
own interests in molecular motion. Thus, Smoluchowski in 1906 formulated a
probabilistic approach to the problem based on what we call now random
walks. He was also the one who later deeply discussed thermodynamic
implications of the approach, and applied it to description of
nonequilibrium phenomena. The widely used term ''random walk'' stemmed
from a question put forward to readers of ''Nature'' by Carl Pearson in
the same year 1905 motivated by a biological problem. Langevin in 1908
introduced an approach based on what nowadays is called stochastic
differential (or Langevin) equation, which was claimed to be ''infinitely
simpler''. This approach was based on the introduction of what we now call
"noise". These works altogether had a strong impact on our understanding
of a wide class of problems in statistical physics like transport
phenomena in liquids and solids, behaviour of electric circuits, reaction
kinetics, and nucleation of new phases. Especially the two later
nonequilibrium problems stimulated research in nonlinear stochastic
dynamics and unveiled many facettes of nonlinear stochastic phenomena in
fundamental science and in applications.
Our symposium should depict modern developments in the field of
diffusioncontrolled processes, fluctuations and noise. Recent
experiments in the field gave new and unexpected results and lead to new
theoretical concepts. It proves the vitality, importance and applicability
of stochastic approaches put forward by Einstein in 1905.
The speakers of our Symposium are:
Prof. C. Bechinger (Universität Stuttgart)
Prof. Ch. van der Broeck (Limburgs Universitair Centrum)
Prof. G. Maret (Konstanz)
Prof. J. Prost (ESPCI/Paris)
Prof. L. Sander (Univ. of Michigan)


